CHOCOLATE MARBLE CRACKER CRUST CHEESECAKE BARS

Cheesecake and I go way back. When I was five or six it was my Dad's birthday and my mom brought out a homemade cheesecake with candles, covered in canned cherry sauce. I remember being very excited at the cheesecake, not so much with the sauce, which was so red that when I went to school the next day the kids made fun of me for wearing "lipstick".


But I love cheesecake. And chocolate, a lot. So this recipe is high up on the yum list as far as I'm concerned. You'll love it too. Densely creamy, swirls of melted chocolate, mini chips, and a club cracker crust.


If you can't find Keebler club crackers, Ritz or any other butter cracker will do.


Notes: Butter is unsalted.


CHOCOLATE MARBLE CHEESECAKE BARS

Ingredients: 2 cups club cracker crumbs, 1/4 cup melted butter, 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp. sugar, 2 bricks of cream cheese at room temperature, 2 eggs separated, 1/2 tsp. vanilla, 2 tbsp. flour, 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream, generous 4 ounces mini semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Makes nine large bars.


1. Preheat oven to 325* and line an 8x8 baking dish with parchment paper. 2. Add melted butter to club cracker crumbs. (I like to use a food processor to wiz up the crackers first, then add in the melted butter and 2 tbsp. sugar, because get the crumbs finely processed so they are easier to press into the dish.) Press crumbs into baking dish in an even layer. Bake for 10 minutes, set aside. 3. Beat cream cheese with sugar until very smooth. Add flour and whipping cream, continue mixing. Beat in the egg white on low speed, then add the yolks one at a time. Combine until just mixed in. 4. Pour cream cheese mixture over crust. Reserve 1 tbsp. of mini chocolate chips. Melt the rest on half-power in the microwave until smooth. Using a spoon, place dollops over the top of the cheesecake, then using a sharp knife, swirl in the chocoalte. Sprinkle over reserved mini chips. 5. Wet and lightly squeeze out an old kitchen towel or two. Place the baking dish onto a baking sheet and wrap the wet towels around the dish. This provides great humidity to achieve the perfect texture of cheesecake. Make sure to use towels you don't mind turning color from the heat. 6. Bake for 40 minutes, then cool at room temperature for 1 hour. Refrigerate 4 hours before slicing.


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